Where We Can Help: Illinois Student Misconduct

If you are an Illinois college student, then it is important to understand the additional laws and regulations that govern your school and others at the same educational level. Schools that are part of the Illinois Board of Higher Education follow state guidelines that cover everything from educational options, admissions standards, and school operation. The Illinois Board of Higher Education governs most postsecondary schools in the state of Illinois. If you violate either the school system's rules or other applicable laws, then you can face student misconduct and even criminal charges. If you are facing a misconduct accusation, then it is important that you speak to an experienced attorney-advisor as soon as possible.

What Is the Illinois Board of Higher Education?

The Illinois Board of Higher Education is a statewide board that oversees and governs Illinois colleges and universities. There are six main responsibilities that the board has according to state law. The main statutory responsibilities of the Illinois Board of Higher Education are:

  • Master Planning – the Board must analyze the needs and requirements of the Illinois higher education system and set policies that guide the Illinois system of both public and private universities.
  • Budget – the Board must make recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly regarding budgetary needs for public and private universities in the state. This includes recommendations for operations, grants, and capital improvements.
  • Program Approval – the Board has the power to approve or deny proposals from public university governing boards and the Illinois Community College Board regarding instruction, research, and public service.
  • Institution Approval – the Board has the power to authorize independent institutions to offer different degree programs and ensure that the programs are meeting the required standards of operation.
  • Grant Administration – the Board is authorized to oversee and administer state and federal grant programs that are designed for schools of higher education in Illinois.
  • Information System – the Board is authorized to oversee and maintain a data information system that covers schools of higher education in Illinois.

Most of the responsibilities and authority of the Illinois Board of Higher Education flow from these six main statutory responsibilities. The Illinois Board of Higher Education is a powerful board that has an incredible amount of authority over member schools. Member schools must get approval from the Board to undertake most any major action within a school.

How Many Members Are on the Illinois Board of Higher Education?

The Board of Higher Education is comprised of 16 members. The breakdown of these 16 members is as follows:

  • Ten Board members are appointed by the Governor of Illinois with the advice and consent of the Senate
  • One member from a public university appointed by the Governor of Illinois but without the advice and consent of the Senate
  • One member of a private college who serves as chairman appointed by the Governor of Illinois but without the advice and consent of the Senate
  • One member of an Illinois Community College who serves as chairman of state community colleges
  • One member who serves as the chairman of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission
  • Two student members selected by the recognized advisory committee. One of these student members must be a non-traditional undergraduate student who is at least 24 years old and represents issues of non-traditional students, including having a full-time job or parental responsibilities.

There are ten members of the Illinois Board of Higher Education that are appointed by the Governor of Illinois with the advice and consent of the state Senate, and one of them must be a faculty member at an Illinois public university. The Governor selects the Chairman of the Board, and that member will serve until the Governor selects his or her successor. Out of the ten members selected by the Governor, no more than seven of them shall be part of the same political party. This rule excludes the Chairman.

How Long Are the Terms of Illinois Board of Higher Education Board Members?

The members of the Board who are selected by the Governor and must be confirmed by the Senate serve 6-year terms that expire on January 31st of odd-numbered years. Board members continue their service even after the expiration of their terms until a replacement has been named.
Vacancies on the Board in offices appointed by the Governor shall be filled by appointment by the Governor for the unexpired term. If the appointment is subject to Senate confirmation and the Senate is not in session or is in recess when the appointment is made, the appointee shall serve subject to subsequent Senate approval of the appointment. Student members serve one-year terms that begin on July 1stannually. The members of the Board who represent public and private schools serve one-year terms that begin on July 1st annually.

How Often Does the Illinois Board of Higher Education Meet?

The Board holds regularly scheduled meetings. Special or additional meetings can also be called if decided by the Chairman, if decided by six Board members, or if decided by the Governor of Illinois. Quorums at Board meetings are comprised of eight members. When major decisions regarding new units of instruction, research, or public service of a public college are at issue, then a majority of the 16 members of the Board are required for approval. The members of the Board are not paid for their positions but are reimbursed for traveling and other expenses while engaged in the performance of their duties as Board members.

What Is a Master Plan?

The Board is required to analyze the aims, needs, and requirements of schools of higher education in the State of Illinois. The Board is further required to prepare a master plan which aids in the development and expansion of education for public colleges in the areas of teaching, research, and public service. The master plan of the Board is also expected to include directives regarding affordability and accessibility measures. The Board must prepare the master plan for submission to both the General Assembly and the Governor of Illinois. The Board is expected to continually evaluate and study the master plan developed and must recommend any necessary changes as they deem fit.

What Laws Apply to the Illinois Board of Higher Education?

The Illinois Board of Higher Education is governed by Illinois state law. The laws specific to the Board of Higher Education can be found within the Illinois Compiled Statutes at 110 ILCS 205. This section of law is also known as the Board of Higher Education Act. The Board must follow these laws when:

  • Dealing with any legislation affecting Illinois colleges and universities and their students
  • Dealing with any proposed legislative initiatives to advance Board priorities
  • Addressing any issues raised by General Assembly members

These laws comprehensively cover most issues related to colleges, universities, and their students.

When Is a School Required to Submit an Application to the Illinois Board of Higher Education?

The Boards of Trustees of the following public colleges must get approval from the Illinois Board of Higher Education before establishing any new unit of instruction, research, or public serv